worship of Allah in youth…

Ibn Rajab al Hanbalee said:

“And whoever is mindful of Allah (and keeps to His boundaries) in his youth during his years of strength, then Allah will preserve him in his old age when his strength weakens. And He will allow him to enjoy and benefit from his sense of hearing, sight, capabilities, strength and mind/intellect.

One particular scholar had passed the age of 100 and still continued to benefit from his strength of body and mind. One day, he took a great leap and jumped up high, and the people rebuked him for that. So he said: “We preserved these limbs of ours from sin when we were younger, so Allah has preserved them for us in our old age.”

Jami’ ‘Ulum wal-Hikam

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The Best three generations

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a famous hadeeth, narrated by ‘Imraan bin Husayn (RA):

“Verily the best among you (to follow) is my generation (the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) and his Companions (RA)), then those who follow, and then those who follow them…”  (Saheeh Muslim, the Virtues of the Sahaabah, chapter 52 hadeeth no. 2535)

From this hadeeth we can understand the following; undoubtedly, the best people to understand Islaam, the Qur’aan, Sunnah, and Sharee’ah terminology etc., are those from the first generation in Islaam – the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) and His Companions (RA). The Messenger Muhammad (SAW) also praised those who follow this first generation, and then those who follow the followers of the first generation. In other words, the best generations in Islaam are:

a) The first generation – the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) and his Companions


b) The second generation – those who followed the first generation (known as the Taabi’een)


c) The third generation (ended 240-260 AH) – those who followed the Taabi’een (known as Taabi’ ut-Taabi’een)

This is the order in which the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) praised them; therefore, as his followers, we must also praise them in the same order.

It is very foolish for people nowadays to follow those who are not from the first generation in Islaam. Today, people follow the likes of Imaam Abu Haneefah or Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee instead of following the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) and his Companions. If you say to them, “Abu Bakr said…” they say, “…yes, BUT Abu Haneefah said…” Thus, they override the saying of a Sahaabi, one who has been praised by Almighty Allah in the Qur’aan.

We do not deny that scholars such as Abu Haneefah, Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee, Ahmad bin Hanbal etc. were great ‘ulamaa and followers of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah – May Allaah (SWT) be pleased with them all. Rather, the problem arises when people choose to follow them instead of the first generation, which is clearly contradicting what Allaah and His Messenger (SAW) ordered us to do; and this is manifested in a person who says, for example, “I am Hanafi” or “I am Shaafi’ee”, which is clearly implying that they only follow the opinion of Imaam Abu Haneefah or Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee.

Therefore, it is vital for us to understand that our Islaamic standard is the first generation in Islaam; those who follow this generation are followers of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and hence are from the Saved Sect. And those who follow anyone other than the first generation, for example, “great scholars” such as the apostate Ibn Baaz or Ibn ‘Uthaymeen etc., have deviated from the straight path and from as-Salaf as-Saalih (the Pious Predecessors).

However, there is also a system of ranking, in terms of virtues, amongst the first generation. Imaam al-Haafiz adh-Dhahabi (a follower of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and a student of Sheikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah) said in his Kitaab ul-Kabaa’ir (The Book of Major Sins), in the chapter of The Seventieth Major Sin: Cursing any of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (SAW):

“The noble qualities and merits of the Companions (RA) are too numerous to be mentioned here. However, the scholars of the Sunnah agree that the noblest among the Companions are ten, and among the ten, four are ranked as highest. These are, in order of their rank: Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab, then ‘Uthmaan bin ‘Affaan, and then ‘Ali bin Abee Taalib – May Allaah be pleased with them all. There is no doubt concerning this, and whoever doubts it is an innovator (mubtadi’) and a malicious hypocrite (munaafiq khabeeth).”

Hence, the scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah unanimously agree that Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq was the greatest companion of Rasool-Ullaah (SAW), then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthmaan, and then ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with them all). This is how Allaah (SWT) has destined for it to be, and those who favour the Companions in any other order have gone astray from as-Salaf as-Saalih, such as the apostate Shee’ah Raafidah. Furthermore, the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmaan will be in Paradise, ‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, az-Zubayr will be in Paradise, ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin ‘Awf will be in Paradise, Sa’d bin Abee Waqqaas will be in Paradise, Sa’eed bin Zayd will be in Paradise and Abu ‘Ubaydah bin al-Jarraah will be in Paradise.”  (Saheeh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, 1/70, no. 50)

The Companions named above were famously known as “Al-‘Asharah fil-Jannah (the Ten in Paradise)”. They were the greatest Companions of Rasool-Ullaah and this is their order.

We can therefore come to the conclusion that the best Companions were (in order):

a) The Ten Promised Paradise

Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq
‘Umar bin al-Khattaab
‘Uthmaan bin ‘Affaan
‘Ali bin Abee Taalib
Talhah
Az-Zubayr
‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin ‘Awf
Sa’d bin Abee Waqqaas
Sa’eed bin Zayd
Abu ‘Ubaydah bin al-Jarraah

b) The People of Badr (those who participated in the Battle)
c) Those who made al-bay’atu tahtash-shajarah (the pledge beneath the tree)
Allaah (SWT) says in the Qur’aan:
“…Allaah was well-pleased with the Believers when they swore allegiance unto thee beneath the tree…” (EMQ al-Fath, 48:18)

d) Al-Ansaar

Allaah (SWT) says:
“And the first to embrace Islaam of the Muhaajiroun (those who migrated from Makkah to al-Madeenah) and the Ansaar (the citizens of al-Madeenah who helped and gave aid to the Muhaajiroun) and also those who followed them exactly (in faith). Allaah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him…” (EMQ at-Tawbah, 9:100)

Therefore, dear Muslims, know that these men were the best people to understand the Deen – not Ibn Taymiyyah (RA) or even Abu Haneefah (RA), despite being great scholars who followed Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

If there was any dispute between the Companions, we will refer to and favour the most virtuous from amongst them in this order.

The Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Allaah looked to the people of Badr (and said): ‘Do whatever you wish, Allaah has forgiven you.'” (Saheeh Muslim no. 2494)

Two Suitors Seeking to Marry the Same Girl

The Prophet (peace be upon him) disapproved of two persons competing with one another to secure marriage with the same girl. This is because such a situation is likely to develop bitter enmity between two Muslim brothers.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

 

“A believer is a brother of a believer. Hence it is not lawful for him to bargain upon the bargain of a brother, nor propose for (the hand of a girl) after the marriage proposal of his brother, until the latter (voluntarily) withdraws the proposal.”

Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi’i, and Imam Malik, all hold the view that it is a sin to put a proposal of marriage against the proposal of another Muslim brother. However, if a marriage is contracted in this wrongful way it will be sufficient if the second suitor who was successful seeks the forgiveness of the first suitor and of Allah. But Imam Dhahiri considers such a marriage void. It is respectfully submitted that the former view is more rational and sound.

Benefits of Dates

All the prophet’s (Peace be upon him) kindness on his nation is shown in Dates and in recommending­ them as he explained the useful things even in such matters.

The benefits and utilities of dates are shown as some doctors mentioned the benefits of Iftar on Dates and said: (starting Iftar with dates has a lot of healthy and nutritional benefits, some of these benefits are:

Dates are easy to digest so they don’t exhaust the fasting person stomach.

Dates decrease the great hunger feeling of the fasting person and so he doesn’t rush into excessive food eating which causes digestion disorders.

Dates prepare the stomach to receive the food after being inactive through out the day with activating the release of digestive secretions and juices.

Dates are very rich with sugary energy and so the body is supplied with the most important nutrients which is sugar that is irreplaceabl­e as a nutrient for the brain cells and nerves.

Dates protect the fasting person from having constipation­ as a result of changing meals times or as a result of having low fiber amounts in meals.

The alkaline salts in dates adjust the acidity of blood which result from excessivenes­s eating of meat and carbohydrate­s which causes a lot of hereditary diseases as diabetes, gout, renal stones, gall bladder inflammation­s, high blood pressure and hemorrhoids)­.

The research of date’s benefits, prepared by nutrition department of hospitals administrati­on in the health ministry in Kuwait

Fasting in the Month of Shawwal

Abu Ayyoub reported that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said

Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and then follows it by fasting six days during the month of Shawwal will be rewarded as if he had fasted the entire year.”

[Muslim, at-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood and Ahmad by way of Jabir].

The 8 Principles To Realise The Existence Of God

1. What we perceive by our (five) senses exists

Whatever we can perceive with our senses definitely exists. This is a clear, obvious and undisputable fact.

2. Certainty is attainable by decisive (factual) report, in the same way it can be achieved by the senses

In order to acknowledge or believe in the existence of a matter, one does not necessarily need to perceive it with their (five) senses.

For example, we know the Bermuda Triangle exists, yet how many of us have actually seen it with our own eyes?

Similarly, we know that meteorites exist (in space), but have we ever seen them ourselves? No, is the most likely answer to both these questions, but we know they exist because we have decisive report (information).

Therefore, one does not need to see God in order to believe in Him. Decisive report or information is sufficient.

3. We must not reject the existence of a matter if we are unable to perceive it with our senses

This is a very important point to bear in mind: One should not deny the existence of a matter just because they are unable to perceive it with their senses.

Example: If a person is locked in a cell (with a window) their view would be greatly restricted. Nevertheless, the prisoner cannot deny the existence of those matters or objects which he/she is unable to see from their cell.

Example: We know bacteria exist even though we cannot see them with our naked eyes.

4. The Human imagination (or mind) cannot perceive anything beyond reality

It is not possible for us as human beings to imagine Paradise or Hell, or even life after death, because they are beyond our reality (or realm).

The only way we have come to learn about such notions is through revelation and divine sources. If God never told us about them it would be impossible for us to invent the concept of Paradise (Heaven) and Hell.

Example: If you try to imagine a car, a certain image would come to your mind, based on your previous experiences with cars. However, if you had never seen or heard of one before, it would be impossible for you to imagine one.

Hence, the concept of Heaven, Hell and the Afterlife must have come from a non-human being – God.

5. Human comprehension is restricted by time and place

As human beings, we can only comprehend the existence of a matter if it is restricted by time and place.

Example: Britain enters into a war with Russia. It is not in the UK, nor is it in Russia. It is not on land, nor on water, and neither is it in the sky. Moreover, the war did not happen last year, or any other year. This is impossible for one to comprehend because the event (or war) is not restricted by time of place.

Example: If a person you had just recently met told you they came from a country that was not in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia or any other continent, it would be impossible for you to understand or comprehend where the person was from.

Therefore, it is the human imagination or faculty of mind that is limited and restricted. The fact that we are unable to see or hear God does not mean He cannot be seen or heard.

Furthermore, because our intellectual capacity is limited, it is not possible for us to understand (or rationalise) the Attributes of God. The only reliable information we have about God is what He Himself has informed us of (in divine scriptures).

6. Believing in God is part of human nature

Before man was born, God created the whole of mankind and made us testify and acknowledge that He is indeed our Creator. This is why believing in God is part of our natural disposition (fitrah). Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’aan:

“And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (Adam’s offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’” (EMQ al-A’raaf, 7:172)

7. Seeing the existence of other life is a direct proof of the existence of God

The fact that we can see other living organisms and beings around us is proof of the existence of God. The rational human being would conclude that they were created and could not have created themselves.

8. Man by his nature is limited, weak and needy

Every creation is limited, weak and needy. We too have these traits, and therefore we are creations of a Creator (God).

A comparison between Western marriages and Islamic marriages

Marriage is a significant event in one’s life as it involves beginning a new life with a lifelong companion, however its connotations, meaning and importance varies depending on from which perspective it is considered. In today’s Western society weddings are portrayed as ‘the big day’, an expensive and lavish affair devoid of any commitment. The differences between Western and Islamic marriages which will be elaborated on, will reveal that the former has contributed to many problems which exist in society whilst the latter is a source of comfort, harmony and happiness in society.

Western society does not promote marriage predominantly because it has no value seeing as morality has been replaced by instant self-gratification. Consequently sex before marriage, one-night stands and homosexuality have become the norm whilst marriage has become an undervalued institution. The British government has also failed to encourage people to marry, despite the chant of ‘back to basics’ slogans.

Marriage in the west is an extremely extravagant and expensive event. Services and products such as brides magazines, bridal suites designed specifically for weddings are popular as the idea that the wedding should live up to the image of the ‘big day’ is advertised. Weddings, like so many other events, has become a purely commercialised occasion. The purpose and importance of marriage has been demeaned as the wedding day has become the main centre of attention with little or no thought paid to the actual marriage itself.

It seems that the marriage itself is not expected to last because divorce is regarded as a highly probable event as more couples insist on pre-nuptial agreements. This fatalistic and negative attitude does not stop there as people do not want to commit themselves to another person by getting married, instead the ‘HIV test’ has become the new marriage. The HIV test is the twenty-first century form of commitment and is taken by couples who want to be ‘serious’. In order to manifest this ‘serious’ attitude to their partner, the HIV test is taken to show that each partner is coming clean and promising fidelity to each other and thus revealing to their partner that they have no intention to engage in promiscuity.

It is not only the West that has commercialised marriage as many countries in the third world have also imitated the west by focusing on organising expensive weddings. Weddings have become an ideal opportunity to show off one’s wealth and it seems that this has become the only purpose of the weddings. There is also a lot of pressure on people to conform to the expectation of having a very elaborate and costly wedding.

Countries like Pakistan have incorporated traditions and customs which are alien to Islam such as the bride’s family giving money to the grooms family, free mixing between males and females at the wedding ceremony and marrying people from a particular ‘caste’. As a result of adopting the capitalistic attitudes of the west and following non-Islamic traditions, many people in Muslim countries have encountered problems which have hindered the process of marriage or become obstacles in the way of marriage. Some of these problems include oppression of the poor as they cannot afford to give the dowry money, organise a huge wedding for a large number of people and buy costly jewellery and clothes.

The only means by which these problems can be completely eradicated is through the implementation of and adherence to Islam. The whole attitude and value of marriage in Islam is entirely different. Islam differs from monastic religions that condemn sex as a ‘sin of the flesh’ because it recognises that one of the basic instincts that appear in men and women is the urge to procreate and feel attraction to members of the opposite sex. Thus Islam has provided a method to channel and fulfil this instinct, giving detailed guidance which results in a system that is in harmony with human nature.

Islam forbids unmarried men and women from having intimate relationships outside marriage, whereas the west does not adopt this view and thus the consequences are manifestly apparent by the huge number of problems that exist including rape, abortion, infidelity, single parents, economic problems, depression, suicide, the emergence of AIDS and an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

Relationships between man and woman in Islam are based on a sense of responsibility and mutual respect, where there is no place for irresponsibility, immorality and exploitation. Allaah (swt) says, “And among his signs is this, that the created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts undoubtedly, in this are signs for those who reflect.” [EMQ 30: 21]

Marriage is highly recommended in Islam, especially for those who have the means to do so i.e. those possessing maturity, ability to support a wife etc. It is a noble action and Islam has praised those who engage in it. Anas bin Maalik reported that the messenger Muhammad (saw) said, “When a man gets married, he has fulfilled half of his Deen, so let him fear Allaah regarding the remaining half.”

The Prophet (saw) affirmed that Allaah (swt) will help those who married to preserve their chastity, saying, “There are three who have a right to the help of Allaah: the one who marries out of the desire to live a chaste life, the slave whose master has agreed to his buying his freedom when he wishes to pay the sum, and the one who fights in the cause of Allaah (swt).” (Ahmad, an-Nasaa-i, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah, Al-Haakim)

The fact that Allaah (swt) has promised His help to those who marry for a good purpose means that it is not befitting for a Muslim to refrain from marriage out of fear of poverty or not being able to meet his obligations. A Muslim must make the effort to find the financial means to support a wife e.g. getting a job, borrowing money or obtaining it in other halaal ways and Inshaa-Allaah he will see the help of Allaah (swt). Allaah (swt) says: “And marry those among you who are single, and the virtuous ones among your slaves, male and female. If they are in poverty, Allaah will enrich them out of His bounty.” [EMQ 24: 32]

In Islam, the contract of marriage is called Nikaah. It is a contract between the man and woman of which all the pillars and conditions must be fulfilled for it to be correct and valid. The Nikaah is easy and simple, and does not require the spending of thousands and thousands of pounds in order for it to be valid. A part of the marriage agreement is the mahr (dowry) which is paid by the man to the woman and not reverse, as is the case in some other cultures.

This in itself removes many problems for families in the East. Quite often the arrival of a baby daughter in many Muslim families is met with contempt and derision because parents feel that when it is time for her to get married, they have to give money to the groom’s family, buy expensive jewellery and indulge in other costly purchases. It is quite clear that the implementation of Islam would effectively eradicate these problems as these trouble inducing practices are not a part of Islam but Eastern and capitalistic culture.

Islam recognises that there are physical and mental differences between man and woman. A husband and wife are companions for each other, and they have clearly defined roles within the family. The husband is responsible for the economic maintenance of the family and the wife is responsible for the management of the household. The woman’s wealth is her own and it is the husband’s responsibility to feed, clothe and shelter her and the family.

In Islam, marriage is a valid institution through which an unrelated man and woman can have an intimate relationship with each other. In the west having a relationship with any person before marriage is accepted, tolerated and promoted whilst marriage itself has become devalued. This is one of the reasons why society is in its current pathetic degraded state, afflicted with a vast range of problems and diseases. The source of these is ignored and not even examined, in lieu the problems are treated with temporary ‘solutions’ or just swept under the carpet and attributed to being a part of today’s modern, hectic and fact paced lifestyle. The only solution which would permanently remove these problems and ensure they do not re-occur, as well as injecting harmony, peace and justice to society in all areas of life not just in marriage, would be the implementation of Islam in its totality.